Many of the Department’s web pages offer the option to download documents. These downloads will present in a variety of formats. Sometimes there will also be a web page version of the document.
We try to ensure that as many users as possible can open our downloads. If you are unable to open a document, the advice below on file types, saving files, and downloading free software may help you.
The following are the most common forms of documents available on the Department's websites. We have included links to websites from which free software can be downloaded.
PDF documents can be opened on PC and Macintosh machines.
To open a document in Adobe PDF format, you may first need to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat reader.
If you are unable to open a PDF by clicking 'open', you should try saving it first.
To convert PDF files to text, you can use a free online tool from Adobe.
These documents can be opened by many, but not all, programmes.
If you are unable to open a document, you may not have the appropriate software.
If you are a PC user, you can download a viewer from the Microsoft site for free. The viewer should enable you to read Microsoft Office documents on your computer even if you do not have the programme installed.
Zip files compress one or more files into a single folder that takes up less space than the originals.
To open a zip file, click the attachment. Please note that if your browser is IE6, you may need to save the zip file in order to open it. If you click ‘save’ you can save the file to the location you want by using the ‘save as’ dialog box.
Internet browsers save documents in a variety of ways, which can often be confusing. If you want to guarantee a document has been saved, you can do the following:
Once the file is saved, go to the folder you selected and double click on the file name to open it.
Hold down the mouse button until the menu appears and then follow the instructions as for the PC user above.
Download Adobe Reader to be able to read PDF documents.
Convert files to PDF with this online tool.
The BBC website's guide to unzipping files.